Q: My husband came home drunk and mean from the bar. Fortunately, he passed out before his screaming and shouting got any worse. As usual, he was contrite and apologetic the next morning.
This time, he has promised me and the kids that he will quit drinking. But he refuses to go to Alcoholics Anonymous or sign up for treatment programs. Even without professional help, I want to support my husband and do what I can to help him. Please give me some ideas.
A: Some people have recovered from alcohol abuse on their own, but most who try do not. Addictions are powerful and difficult and chances for relapse are high.
If the recovering alcoholic is not working with someone who has the knowledge or experience to help through recovery, his risk for relapse is even higher, so I encourage him to get support somewhere.
My concern is also for the well-being and safety of you and your children. If you insist on staying with your husband, you should at least have a safety plan for you and your children. When Dad is drinking, you need to know where you can go for protection and how you are going to get there.
Don’t try to deal with it alone. You can attend Al-Anon meetings or programs your health centre offers to help those living with addicts.
People who have been where you are now can help you figure out the signs and signals of when your husband is at risk for drinking again.
They will work with you to make sure that your family is safe while you support your husband through his recovery.
Jacklin Andrews is a family counsellor from Saskatchewan. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.